Last weekend, the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, was rocked by intense violence brought on by the descent of thousands of white nationalists upon the town.
These white nationalists, who went to Virginia to protest the city’s plans to remove a statue meant to honor Confederate war icon General Robert E. Lee, were met by an unsurprising significant left wing protest presence. At the end of the ensuing clashes, three people were dead, including one woman — 32 year old Heather Heyer — who was the victim of a car ramming attack.
These white nationalists did not come out of nowhere. There are no doubt untold millions of people in the United States who vary between turning a willful blind eye to and actively aiding the white nationalist causes. Just look at how many tens of millions of people voted for Donald Trump, without regard to his ostracizing of entire groups of non-whites.
The same qualification goes with voting for Trump that goes with millions of people’s response to the white nationalist-fueled violence in Charlottesville — some turned a willful blind eye to the belligerent businessman’s bigotry, while many others actively supported it.
There are more potent effects of tens of millions of Americans states of mind when it comes to white nationalism and bigotry then just getting Donald Trump into the White House. A striking example of the wide ranging effects of millions of Americans’ indifference on the issue of virulent racism popped up this week in North Carolina, where a man replaced his long flying — and long controversial — Confederate flag with — wait for it — a Nazi flag.
Joe Love was unsurprisingly confronted by at least one of his neighbors, Page Braswell. The Gaston Gazette reports that Braswell captured a cellphone video in which Love tells her in response to her pressing him about the flag: “This is Nazi f*cking America!”
Love had a bizarre explanation when pressed about the flag by the Gaston Gazette, saying:
‘That used to be a religious symbol in India until Hitler got ahold of it. A lot of people don’t know that… I agree with the symbol as it started out as a religious symbol. But as far as backing Hitler and being a white supremacist and Hitler, I’m not into that.’
His level of articulation combined with his belligerence does not exactly support his bizarre assertion that he’s been flying a swastika because it “used to be a religious symbol in India.”
We aren’t in India. We are in the 21st Century, and for it is pretty much universally recognized that when someone flies a flag with a swastika on it, that means that they support Nazi ideology — and, by extension, it means that they support the Nazis’ murder of tens of millions of innocent people during World War II.
After a Monday exchange with reporters at his home, Love angrily took the flag down and stormed inside his house.
An image of Love’s flag taken from Braswell’s aforementioned cellphone video is below.